Skyview, Camas softball teams are off to state

Both teams win two games at bi-district softball tourney

By Paul Valencia, Columbian high school sports reporter

Published:

 

TACOMA -- Camas and Skyview just might face each other Saturday in the finals of the Class bi-district softball tournament.

More importantly to them, they just might face each other next week in Spokane.

Skyview and Camas both punched tickets to the 4A state tournament, each winning two games Friday in the bi-district tournament at Sprinker Recreation Center.

The two teams will continue in this tournament Saturday, but those games are just for seeding.

For the Storm, Friday's win gave them some redemption.

For the Papermakers, it was about proving they always belonged here.

"People looked down on Skyview, as not such a big contender anymore," Skyview senior Madison Anthony said. "We wanted to show Skyview softball is still here and our hearts are in it and we're a family."

The Storm reached the state semifinals two years ago, but then lost last year at this tournament and failed to make it back to state.

The Papermakers made it to state last year, but this is the first year the team has been in Class 4A.

"It's such a great feeling," Camas pitcher Harli Hubbard said. "We're going to kick some butt this year."

"We played well against the 4As all last year," Camas coach Ken Nidick said. "We wanted to prove it again. We can play with anybody."

Neither team trailed at any point Friday.

Skyview's Michelle Brincefield struck out 11 and also had two triples and drove in four runs in a 7-0 victory over Bethel of Spanaway to open the tournament. Anthony had three hits, including two triples, and Emily Garcia drove in two runs for the Storm.

They followed that with a 3-1 win over Olympia. Anthony hit a home run, and Garcia drove in her third run of the day. Brincefield went the distance again, as well.

"Coming off the Camas game (Skyview's win in the district tournament earlier in the week), we knew we had a special team," Brincefield said.

She added that it's nice to know that no matter what happens today, the Storm are going to state.

"I don't know, though. A district and bi-district championship sounds really good to me," she said.

Skyview head coach Kim Anthony said after the disappointment from last season and then losing a number of quality players to graduation, this is a big accomplishment for the program.

"They're just a really focused group, and they work really hard," the coach said. "If you work hard and prepare for the moment, you have the potential to get it done. It's proof-positive."

Camas broke open a close first game with a six-run sixth inning to beat Kentridge 9-2.

Katie Schroeder pitched into the fifth to get the win, and Hubbard picked up a save, entering the game with a 3-2 lead and shutting out the Chargers the rest of the way.

Mackenzie Farnham had two hits and drove in four runs. Schroeder had a run-scoring triple, and Tori O'Neill drove in two runs for the Papermakers.

Hubbard went the distance in the second game, a 5-1 win over Gig Harbor. She also had the big hit, a run-scoring triple in the second inning to make it 4-1 in the fifth inning.

"That's when I was like, 'OK, we're good. We got this,' " Hubbard said.

Hubbard, Erin Tauscher, Schroeder, and O'Neill each had two hits in the second game.

"It's amazing," Schroeder said of going to state. "I'm just glad I can be part of such an amazing program and group of girls."

Battle Ground was still alive when rain postponed the tournament.

The Tigers lost to Emerald Ridge of Puyallup 10-0 in the opening round, then trailed Bellarmine Prep of Tacoma 1-0 in the fourth when the weather hit. Battle Ground will return to play at 9 a.m. today.

The Tigers must rally to win that game, then the next one in the consolation bracket to make it to state.